Panel Chairs: Billie Faircloth and Maibritt Pedersen Zari

With profound urgency, global communities are acting and adapting to the earth’s changing climate. Our built environment, the most common habitat of humans, should interact with the earth’s ecosystems and climates in a sustainable and regenerative way. It should nurture people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable. As ecosystem collapse cascades globally what is our reaction? Who is adapting, why, how, and at what scale?

Hong Kong Wetland Park - Photo by Tomoaki INABA


Design for Climate Adaptation emphasizes people, multiple forms of research, knowledges, and action. It seeks high and low-tech solutions to environmental and ecological design that make buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, cities, and regions regenerative, resilient, and adaptive to climate change impacts. Methods for generating energy, harvesting rainwater, heating and cooling, purifying air and water, sequestering carbon, supporting biodiversity, and designing waste out of systems allow us to rethink how buildings, neighbourhoods, and cities are designed, operate, and contribute positively to their ecologies.

Time, change over time, temporality, and future climate scenarios will be addressed by design for rising sea levels; increasing extreme weather events such as flood, drought, and wildfire; and strategic consideration for effective stormwater design, reduction of desertification, and protection of biodiversity. Beyond these direct effects of climate change, the indirect impacts of climate change will also influence the shape of future buildings, landscapes and cities. These include the urgency to decarbonise; social and cultural change; changes to human migration patterns; changes to economic contexts; and issues related to changing availability of resources.

Design for Climate Adaptation: Knowledge to Action aims to help humans adapt as effectively and appropriately as possible, in both technical and cultural ways by encouraging built environments to integrate with, regenerate, and become part of cooperative symbiotic ecologies.


Panel 1: Design for Climate Adaptation asks for papers that engage with these perspectives and critically explore how architecture can understand, build and fulfill its active role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



Adaptation with Indigenous Knowledges presents design-oriented scholarship and/or indigenous or local understandings and practices of approaches to climate change adaptation.

How can local and Indigenous knowledges shape, challenge, or improve our understanding of climate change adaptation through the lens of spatial design, planning, and ways of living?

What are climate adaptation-related concepts or projects led or challenged by Indigenous people and communities?

What are the practices, ethics, and implementation strategies of working with Indigenous or local peoples and knowledges in the pursuit of holistic spatial design for climate change adaptation?


Adaptation Through Frameworks questions the overall thesis of design for adaptation, mitigation, and regeneration in the context of proposed and applied design frameworks.

How does the creation and implementation of policy, codes, standards, rating systems, and theoretical frameworks transform practical efforts to adapt to climate change?

How does the adoption, implementation of design frameworks ratified at local, tribal, regional, national and international scales, impact the ability of people to adapt to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change?


Adaptation Through Feedback examines the role of modeling and simulation in climate change adaptation strategies for buildings, landscapes, and cities.

How are established and new approaches to data, data modeling and computation improving outcomes for people and communities?

What are new, inter- or transdisciplinary models and methods to design, predict and manage the adaptation of buildings, landscapes and cities?

In what ways are enhanced decision-making processes using feedback shaping a range of adaptation strategies?


Adaptation Through Architectural and Spatial Technologies explores adaptation through the design, engineering and construction of buildings, landscapes and cities.

How are new technologies, systems, assemblies, components, and materials of architecture, landscape, infrastructure, and/or whole cities contributing to climate change adaptation and mitigation agendas?

What are effective strategies for decarbonization, building or landscape
integrated energy generation, carbon sequestration, or water effectiveness?

What are innovations in spatial design related to climate change adaptation and mitigation?


Adaptation Through Nature-based Solutions (NBS) examines the means to achieve multi-scalar and interdependent climate adaptation and ecological regeneration.

What are viable and ethical approaches to integrating and emulating nature?

How are design paradigms such as bio-inspired design, biophilic design, ecosystem-based adaptation or arbortecture transforming efforts to adapt to a changing climate?

What is the planning, design, evolution, or outcome of research that aims to adapt to climate change by strengthening our understanding of nature and ecosystems?


Adaptation Through Behaviour Change investigates design strategies that support or challenge human behavior.

How do patterns of inhabitation and resource use contribute to or detract from climate adaptation strategies?

How does the design of buildings, landscapes, cities and infrastructure transform the interaction between people and evolve planning values?

How do we measure the degree to which climate adaptation strategies support or transform the behavior of individuals and communities?


Adaptation Through Action elevates individuals and communities that witness, are impacted by, and directly respond to climate change.

How can innovative design and practice processes, including co-design and participatory design, become effective agents of advocacy and positive change?

What approaches to spatial design at regional, rural, urban or neighborhood scales contribute to climate change adaptation?

How can architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design tangibly demonstrate and contribute to climate change activism?


Panel 2
Design for Rethinking Resources

Resources are getting scarcer, and architects need to address this issue. By using novel materials and recycling on a much greater scale, architecture can change its approach to resources.

Panel 3
Design for Resilient Communities

Communities are people, and people create communities. Architects can positively impact the lives of millions, even billions, by building for the future, and creating communities that last.

Panel 4
Design for Health

Healthy living takes place in healthy environments, and architects can help improve public health through careful planning, building and consideration.

Panel 5
Design for Inclusivity

A sustainable world is one with room and consideration for all people. Architects must design with inclusivity in mind, and take care to understand the needs of the many different people that inhabit the globe.

Panel 6
Design for Partnerships for Change

Architects must foster partnerships, and work across many different professions and skills to create a sustainable and inclusive future.

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